Mason Williams

Born Aug 24, 1938

Mason Williams is an American guitarist and composer, best known for his guitar instrumental "Classical Gas". He is also a comedy writer, known for his writing on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and Saturday Night Live. He is also an eclectic poet and lyricist who has published several books.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Mason Williams.


1938 Birth Born on August 24, 1938.


1956 17 Years Old Williams grew up dividing his time between living with his father in Oklahoma and his mother in Oakridge, Oregon. He graduated from Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1956. … Read More


1961 22 Years Old Mason Douglas Williams was born in Abilene, Texas; son of Jackson Eugene (a tile setter) and Kathlyn (Nations) Williams; married Sheila Ann Massey, April 22, 1961 (divorced); children: Kathryn Michelle.
In 1968 Williams won three Grammy Awards for his guitar instrumental "Classical Gas".


1987 48 Years Old In 1987, Williams teamed up with Mannheim Steamroller to release a new album on the American Gramaphone label. The album, titled Classical Gas, included a remake of the 1968 song. Another cut from this album, "Country Idyll", was a 1988 nominee for a Grammy in the country music category for "Best Instrumental Performance by a Soloist, Group or Orchestra". … Read More


1992 53 Years Old Williams released an acoustic instrumental album of Christmas and holiday music, A Gift of Song, on the Real Music label, featuring arrangements of traditional carols and original compositions. In 1992, the Vanguard label released Music 1968–1971, a compilation of cuts from his five Warner Bros. albums recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s. … Read More
1994 55 Years Old 1 More Event
Married Katherine Elizabeth Kahn in February, 1994, after first planning to marry in 1971; divorced after ten years.
1995 56 Years Old In 1995, Williams was invited to play for Oregon governor John Kitzhaber's inauguration and in 1996, Williams received an honorary Doctorate of Music from his alma mater, Oklahoma City University.
1998 59 Years Old In 1998, BMI, the performance rights organization that tracks air play performances on radio and television, presented Williams with a Special Citation of Achievement in recognition of the great national and international popularity of "Classical Gas". … Read More


1999 60 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1999, Williams played again for the governor of Oregon's second inauguration. … Read More
2003 64 Years Old In 2003, Williams released an EP, Music for the Epicurean Harkener, and was again nominated for a Grammy in 2004 for best instrumental album.
2005 66 Years Old In 2005, he collaborated with UK guitarist Zoe McCulloch on the album Electrical Gas.
2006 67 Years Old In June 2006, Williams performed at his 50th high school reunion at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City. … Read More
2007 68 Years Old 1 More Event
In January 2007, he was reunited with longtime friend and artist Edward Ruscha, performing at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
2008 69 Years Old He lived for a time in Oakridge, and as of 2008 he has lived in Eugene, Oregon, with his Canadian-born wife, Karen, who is an attorney.
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